It’s great you’ve come to this page. As more people let businesses know they want them to conserve, recycle and become more efficient, it will drive us to do more.
As the principal broker and owner, I took the first Green course offered by the Realtor association. It was somewhat disappointing and designed as a general introduction to many of the things we’ve already been doing for years. They did warn against greenwashing, which is puffing up your company as green.
Wanting more, I took a post graduate course, Sustainability Leadership designed for business owners and management and found it interesting and insightful. It was during this course that we students were asked to describe our companies’ green policies and practices. In describing our operation, I realized our firm was green in many ways that were just a function of Yankee frugality and more often, the public wants to know about your efforts.
With this in mind, here’s our attempt at a sustainable business model:
The Office Building and Parking Lot
- Built in 1989, the office is a recycled, late 18th century barn from nearby Chesterfield, NH. The posts, beams and slate on the roof are all over 200 years old. Actually the slate is millions of years old. All are still going strong.
- Other materials and lumber are local including the pine floors from a mill in Vernon, Vt.
- High R insulation allows us to heat the building with about 300 gallons of oil a year.
- We heat with an efficient furnace controlled by a programmable thermostat.
Our windows have real muntins but are triple glazed for increased efficiency.
- All our lighting is compact fluorescent.
- Future plans include bringing in the super efficient, gasification wood boiler heat from an adjacent building and a photovoltaic system for most, if not all of our electrical needs, has been designed.
- We purposely have not paved our lot. The local, crushed stone surface allows natural percolation and drainage.
- Other than file cabinets and technology based equipment, all of our desks, chairs, tables, displays, storage cabinets and bookcases are previously owned oak. Local artists are featured on our walls.
Recycling and Returnables
- We recycle all paper, cardboard, glass, metal, boxboard and many plastics. All of our toner and printer cartridges are also recycled. Returnables for deposit and recyclable bottles and cans have 2 bins for this purpose.
- Most of our paper products from paper towels to copy paper are 100% post-consumer recycled. We’re sensitive to the industrial process in that paper production. We believe the extra expense is worth it. At an initial visit to a property or business we don’t hand out lots of paper until we see if a perspective buyer is interested. How often do people go home with reams of paper that end in the trash?
- We car pool whenever it’s practical.
- We use the web and email more often than not. We’re not put off at all by buyers wanting to drive by listings, thereby saving us gas and them time. For some complicated or exceptional properties, we create their own web pages. Deeds, surveys, much of what we give out is all digital.
- There are proprietary relationships, including contracting for services, that really cut down on all the driving we might do.
Most of the above saves energy and money and we pass those savings on. Let’s all do our part to stop wasting resources. If you can think of other energy saving products or modus operandi not mentioned here, please let us know. We’re into it.
(For the most part we all agree with these efforts but one of the agents, upon reviewing this page, asked me why I didn’t include the fact that in the bathroom, whether it’s Hot or Cold, only cold water comes out. I told her at a certain point, you just look cheap.)